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Green Villain has been a personal favorite of mine for a while now. I first started getting involved with them back in college when they were a small art crew tagging up New Jersey. I was there for the insane UK dubstep and low-end events in their barely legal warehouse. I saw the rise of a ragtag crew of music fans flourish into a fully-fledged operation that has since become an internet radio (RWD FM) mainstay, a well-oiled yet still underground art empire, and employed by the NJ state government for art installations around the city. Their record label, Green Village Records, is just as impressive as their multitude of other talents. Their ninth and latest release, Ali Asker’s Ascent EP, is a testament to their commitment to top-tier quality music and art.

Ali Asker is a DJ and producer hailing from the Northern European country of Estonia. His release with Green Village offers three original productions and two remixes from New York’s Plan B labelhead DJ Spider and Detroit’s Sistrum Recordings founder Patrice Scott. Asker is the mastermind behind the up & coming Estonian label Liitheli Records, which concentrates “on the local sounds of electronica.” Asker and Green Village’s relationship is said to originate from a happenstance meeting at a Berlin jazz night.

Ascent is a captivating combination of foundational house, deep house, atmospheric layering, and technically impeccable rhythms and sound design with intentionally rounded lo-fi edges — it’s the perfect introduction to Asker if you’re unfamiliar with his work. The A-side tracks “Standards” and “Concatenate” are wholly in contrast with each other. “Standards” is marked by deeply detailed syncopations, multi-track layering, and an exciting atmosphere of delicate chaos. “Concatenate,” which means ‘linking together in a chain or series,’ is far deeper, darker, and less chaotic. Gentle white noise and undulating bass sit in the background to color this otherwise black & white sonic portrait.

B-sides “Ascent” and its remixes flash us back to a time where personal computing was just becoming popular and synthesizers were more readily available to the general public. It esoterically pulls from the enchantment offered by the likes of the Willy Wonka tunnel scene, Doctor Who adventures, and deep-sea diver expeditions where entire new worlds and dimensions are at the top of the travel docket. DJ Spider’s remix takes it to the blood red sand dunes of Mars, while Patrice Scott opts for a more jovial day at a metaphysical park.

Ali Asker’s Ascent EP arrives on Green Village Records on February 16th. Take a listen to the full five-track release now.

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